Thelonious Monk’s masterpiece gets spiritual remake for a Jewish holiday

Bay Region musician and composer John Schott options an strange interpretation of Thelonious Monk’s ” ‘Round Midnight.” Photograph: Cookie Segelstein

On the Jewish getaway of Shavuot, Bay Area guitarist and composer John Schott strategies to guide an all-star group of musicians as a result of a continual 8-hour interpretation of jazz pianist Thelonious Monk’s best-known composition, “ ‘Round Midnight.”

The live performance is established for June 4 at Mild Rail Studios in San Francisco and will be streamed on-line as the centerpiece of an function hosted by Reboot, a nonprofit business that reimagines Jewish imagined and traditions through arts and society. 

The choice of  “ ‘Round Midnight” was impressed by “multiple correlations,” in accordance to Schott.

“Midnight, and its specific perseverance, has deep significance in Jewish scripture by tracing the phrase midnight by means of Jewish writings, you can master a good deal about rabbinic believed,” he stated. “There is a celebrated recording of Monk practising ” ’Round Midnight” for 25 minutes, putting it less than a microscope, so to speak, even however he experienced currently played it hundreds of periods. The concept is: There is constantly more to find out.”

David Katznelson, CEO of Reboot, mentioned the thought of developing the evening close to that song was even more uncomplicated: “It’s 1 of the finest musical parts of our time.”

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On Shavuot, spiritual Jews historically remain up all evening researching holy texts. For this overall performance, additional than a dozen musicians are expected to bring a equivalent solution to Monk’s jazz regular, treating it “as an overnight research session” as they riff on the original compositions from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. 

Each individual of the song’s 48 measures, which commonly consider 90 seconds to conduct, will be stretched to 10 minutes in size to fill out the marathon functionality.

“John has a notebook and created a web site for every single 20 minutes of get the job done he’s accomplishing,” Katznelson mentioned. “It involves the notation from ‘ ’Round Midnight’ as well as all these estimates around it.”

Schott additional, “The 48 actions of the piece are laid out more than 24 webpages, surrounded by shots, musical analyses, and passages from the Torah and Talmud. Some internet pages are rather dense, other individuals spare. I feeling that I could keep layering on this ‘commentary’ for a extended time for the reason that thoughts and new music each have a inclination to proliferate.”

Thelonious Monk in New York, circa September 1947. Image: William P. Gottlieb / Getty Images

Each portion of the music “will be handled as an object for contemplation and commentary,” according to the occasion description.

“Modern existence is dominated by ringtones and tweets,” Schott reported. “I’m hunting for the variety of time practical experience you’d have listening to an historic bard of epic oral poetry, spinning ‘The Iliad’ or the ‘Mahabharata’ or the Reserve of Lamentations all night time.”

The Grammy-nominated Schott is recognised for his work as a member of the Bay Spot jazz improv ensemble T.J. Kirk with Charlie Hunter.

A webpage from musician and composer John Schott’s notebook on the remodeling of Thelonius Monk’s ” ‘Round Midnight” Photograph: John Schott

He will be joined for this overall performance by vocalists Aurora Josephson and Cecilia Engelhart, woodwind players Nikita Manin and Cory Wright, cellist Crystal Pascucci, vibraphonist Mark Clifford, trombonist Scott Larson, bass participant Jason Hoopes, and percussionists Suki O’Kane, Jason Levis and John Hanes.

“I really don’t know everywhere else something like that is remaining performed,” said Katznelson.

“’Round Midnight Reconsidered”: 9 p.m. June 4-5. $36, which includes two drink tickets with a taco truck supper and more snacks. Evidence of vaccination needed at the doorway. Light-weight Rail Studios, 672 Toland Location, S.F. rebooting.com/short article/spherical-midnight




  • Aidin Vaziri

    Aidin Vaziri is The San Francisco Chronicle’s pop songs critic. E-mail: [email protected] Twitter: @MusicSF

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